Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Glasses for Brother too.. . and a dilemma

Yesterday my son went to the eye doctor for his annual visit. My son has autism, which makes trips to the eye doctor more challenging for him than for my daughter. It was time for his annual visit and I'd noticed him squinting. I suspected he needed a stronger prescription - and he did.

When we pulled into the parking lot, Alex got pretty anxious about it. Belle was really cute because she told him that he didn't need to be afraid or upset because "going to the eye doctor is a lot of fun". I am so happy she enjoys going to the eye doctor, it makes things so much easier.

Now, my son goes to a different Pediatric Ophthalmologist than my daughter does. His doctor is particularly known for his skills with autistic children. Still, I am considering switching to take him to the same P.O. we take Belle to. I just feel more comfortable with Belle's doctor and feel even the kids are more comfortable and relaxed with him. I feel like he really cares vs Alex's doctor sometimes I feel put off by. Still, I know that supposedly he is "The Best" eye doctor in the area for autistic children. I am torn. Belle's doctor is obviously very respectable - it is just the whole Autism issue.

At Alex's doctor, we always have a long wait when we go there and that is difficult for Alex. To make it worse - they used to have their own children's waiting room but they renovated and now they only have a small area for the kids to play in that is OPEN to the optical shoppe. The folks in the optical shoppe are friendly and all (one even has a connection to Autism with a nephew or something) - I remarked to them that I really wish they hadn't eliminated the child waiting room (small chit chat with the optician because otherwise I'd explode) and the optician agreed with me. What kind of P.O. downsizes the child waiting area? The wide screen TV is on the opposite wall where your back would be to - so if you have two children they need to be both in the baby play corner or both watching the TV unless you want to leave one unsupervised. It was not well thought out at all!

Alex had to get the dilation drops in his eyes which he didn't particularly like. The assistant who put them in his eyes announced "No one likes this, let me just put them in quickly". Of course that made my son more upset. I'm shaking my head at this.... Why would someone say that? Well, the funny thing is that Belle responded by announcing, "I like eye drops because they tickle".

So, after the assistant making the stupid eye drop comment we go in for Alex's exam. The doctor sees that Belle has a patch on her eye and proceeds to start to ask me about Belle. This wasn't Belle's visit...This was Alex's visit! He asked me if she saw one of the other doctors in the practice (since he knew he didn't see her, obviously). I didn't think it really was any of his business who she saw.

So, we got a new prescription for Alex and then left and got him new glasses. I don't use the optical shoppe on site because they charge quite a bit more for the same brand frames you can get elsewhere and they also don't make them there so the glasses takes 1-2 weeks. I took him to the Pearl Vision center where Belle got her glasses from and he was able to pick out glasses last night at 7pm and we picked them up this afternoon. It turned out to be a good thing since he left his current glasses at camp (came home wearing his prescription sunglasses). Lovely timing - and typical Alex. How many glasses we will lose or break this year??

So, I keep thinking... More and more I think I need to switch my son's P.O.

Would you?

Related Post:
Autism and the Annual Eye Doctor Visit


  1. Do you ever take Alex with you when Belle goes for her visits? How does he do in the waiting area there?

    Otherwise I'm not sure it sounds like you feel that anyone at this office has skills that are especially notable or worthy of the reputation. And it sounds like you're uncomfortable with the interaction you have with Alex's P.O. and the attention he's giving to Belle's situation, which may say something about either his level of professionalism or the types of cases he's (not) seeing.

  2. Alex has come with us to two of Belle's appointments (she goes every month, so it is sometimes unavoidable... I try to book them while he is in school but one time fell on a vacation day and the other on a early dismissal day).

    At his office there has never been more than a 5 minute wait for us and the waiting room is far less overstimulating/stressful.

    Alex's vision issues are real straight forward - nearsightedness and a little astigmatism so it is not like I need a specialist. Her doctor is well known, respected, and clearly knowledgable about her vision issues.

    I think I may just make an appointment for Alex with him and see how it goes.

    The other thing Belle's doctor does which Alex's doesn't is that with the drops issue. They will prescribe or send you home with the drops to administer before you get to the office if drops are needed at that visit. So, no waiting for the drops to take effect at the office and stressing out. I asked Alex's office if they would do that and they said no!!!